Though I love this time of year, I must admit it saddens me to see my summer bounty coming to an end. The good news is that I get to plant and enjoy the fall veggies which have been known to continue producing throughout the month of January, dependent on the winter weather, of course. See what I have planted and how they have faired in this section.

November Chores for the Piedmont Gardener

November Chores for the Piedmont Gardener

November To-Do’s

  • Cover lettuce, chard, spinach, sorrel, chives, and parsley with floating row covers, before the first hard freeze.
  • Continue to plant trees and shrubs.
  • Set out new strawberries or move rooted runners early this month.
  • Sow poppy seeds now for flowers next May.
  • Gather leaves to add to the compost pile or to shred and use as winter mulch.
  • Pot up a clump of mint, let it freeze one time, then bring it indoors for snipping throughout the winter.
  • Feed leeks, then hill up soil around them to begin the blanching process.

Don’t live in the Piedmont?  Check here for the list of ‘To-Do’s’ for your area.  Organic Gardening’s website and magazine are invaluable to me.  If you are a gardener and have not visited their site, you really should:


You may also find this information helpful.  I plant, prune, transplant, etc. by the almanac.

November Dates:

  • Plant Root Crops – 12th, 28th
  • Transplant – 12th, 28th
  • Seed Beds – 12th, 13th, 14th
  • Prune to encourage growth – 12th
  • Plant above ground crops – 13th, 14th, 17th – 19th, 22nd – 24th, 27th & 28th
  • Harvest crops – 29th & 30th

Happy Gardening~


October Gardening Chores in the Piedmont

October Gardening Chores in the Piedmont

Now that the heat and humidity is in our rear view mirror here in the South it is time to start planning/planting for your fall and winter gardens.  For me, this brings about a feeling of excitement similar to that of my spring gardening enthusiasm;  however, I don’t feel that same sense of urgency and can go about this with a little more ease.  After an extremely busy summer in Tess’ Till-less Garden, let me just say, ‘ease’ is a welcomed change.

October To-Do’s

  • Bring zonal geraniums and vacationing houseplants indoors before the first frost.  It is always a good idea to clean the pot, as well as the plant before bringing inside so that you do not have any unwanted critters in your home.
  • Thin the radishes, carrots, and turnips you sowed last month; then sprinkle the bed with 1 inch of compost.
  • Dig up sweet potatoes before winter rains cause them to split and rot.  Be sure to harvest them before the first frost.
  • Harvest gourds, pumpkins and winter squash before the first frost.
  • Set out garlic cloves (for harvesting in late summer) and continue to plant onions thru mid-November.
  • Chives, coriander (cilantro), dill and parsley can be direct-sown in the fall in the milder areas of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain.  Did you know that chives and parsley taste best in cool weather?
  • You can also divide chives, thyme, mint and tarragon when new growth emerges if you are a Piedmont or Coastal gardener.
  • Sow late spinach to overwinter; it will resume growing in spring.
  • Clean up the blueberry patch: Prune broken or diseased limbs, and thicken the mulch with a layer of pine needles or shredded oak leaves.

 Be mindful of frost warnings this month and have your materials  ready for covering tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and other tender vegetables that are still producing for you.  Experience has proven that it normally warms up once again after the first frost so if you have protected your ‘babies’ they will continue to bless you with their bounty for several more weeks.

IF you are unable to protect your plants be sure to harvest any produce prior to a frost or frost damage.  Once you can no longer protect your plants and/or they are no longer producing, thank them for their wonderful bounty, pull them up and add them to your compost heap UNLESS you have been fighting insects or disease.  If you have been plagued with disease and insects (like many of us have this summer) I highly recommend that you put your diseased plants in your yard waste recycle bin, with a cover, and discard them.  Also, IF you have been plagued with insects that may overwinter, spade or turn the soil over to expose them to the cold in hopes of eliminating them.

And…there you have it…your October ‘To-Do’ list for your garden..now, get out there, enjoy these beautiful fall days and “get ‘er done”!!!  Happy Fall, Y’all!!!


Fall Gardening in the Piedmont – Tess’ Till-less Style

Fall Gardening in the Piedmont – Tess’ Till-less Style

This is such a lovely time of the year in the Piedmont!  The heat and humidity is gone (for the most part) having been replaced by cooler temperatures and lovely fall colors.

Time to get into gear with your fall gardening chores and planting.  My garden is  on my front lawn and I use, what I like to call, Tess’ till-less method.

I am pleased and quite surprised I had some kale that actually made it through the long, hot summer.  Look at those beautiful green, 100% ORGANIC leaves.   These babies are flourishing once again and there is nothing better than fresh sauteed kale, as well as baked kale chips!

 I planted this kale several weeks ago~

As you can see, it is coming right along!!!  You can also see a very healthy thyme plant to the left, zinnias in the center and beautiful basil on the right!!!  I have made pesto galore this summer and frozen the excess- yea, me! 😉

The plants love this time of year and are thriving in this cooler climate.  Check out my mixed lettuces…I planted them in the shade of my okra plants which has worked out nicely.

Keep in mind that I use the till-less method of gardening.  I don’t even own a tiller.

See this post for more information on this method: http://www.crazygoodcreations.com/gardening/tess-till-less-organic-garden-2012/
Note:  There is a similar method that suggests you add up to 24″ of green and brown materials; however, I have found that mine does just as well with about 10″ – 12 ” because you add to/rebuild your rows/layers each spring.

Let me know if you have any questions.  It is the easiest method of gardening I have ever tried and IT WORKS!!!!

 Happy Fall, Y’all!!! 🙂